My glass windows are more often then not, imprinted with tiny hands, noses, and remnants of food. Picasso would be proud! While part of me does love seeing these works of art, the other part of me loves my windows clean!
Now that my son gets entertainment with spray bottles, I am getting him into the mix of loving clean windows. Sure sometimes he sprays the floor, my legs, or the cats, but I do not have to worry about him inhaling the ingredients in this homemade glass cleaner. That electric blue glass cleaner on the other hand, needs to be handled carefully. Let me fill you in on why.
It’s main ingredient, ammonium hydroxide (its scientific name is Azane) is a highly corrosive chemical and is very toxic if it is inhaled, absorbed through the skin or ingested. It also contains propylene glycol, which is an active ingredient in some toothpastes and antifreeze. Gross!
As with all other household products, if I can get away from chemicals and toxicity, I am going to reach for the organic and harmless option, because I can choose this. I choose this to counteract or at least subtract from all of the other chemicals and pollutants I am exposed to on a daily basis without my consent.
So what is the alternative? Let’s look at what ingredients are great for cleaning windows, without compromising your health.
For the first ingredient, my Great Grandma Ward knew what was up. She was born in 1900 and used white vinegar for all of her cleaning solutions. White vinegar is an effective cleaner because of its high acidity content, which also acts as a disinfectant that kills bacteria. The American Society for Microbiology says “Acetic acid (vinegar) is an effective mycobactericidal disinfectant that should also be active agains most other bacteria”
Now there are a lot of DIY cleaners recipes that contain rubbing alcohol, also called isopropyl alcohol, because of its disinfectant abilities. But I specifically am not using rubbing alcohol in my cleaning products because it is toxic when absorbed. Also, if inhaled, its fumes can cause respiratory tract irritation, even at low concentrations. In my opinion it is not a green solution for cleaning.
I have a secret ingredient in this recipe. Any guesses? It is one that professional, window cleaners have been using for years to give glass a streak-free, shine. Surprise, surprise, it is cornstarch! Because cornstarch is a superfine, natural abrasive, it makes cleaning windows easier.
For those of you who are not familiar with Castile soap, let me sing its praises a bit. It is one of the best chemical-free, biodegradable soaps on the planet. It can be used for just about anything from washing your face, to cleaning your laundry. Dr. Bronner’s brand is my go to product. I love the quality of this soap and all of the positive messages he writes on the bottles. I have been using it for more years then I can recall. You can buy it at Health Food stores and even my local Publix now carries it.
Our last ingredient is optional, but I love to include lemon essential oil for its disinfecting properties. It also makes the house smell clean, fresh and happy. I say happy because lemon has mood enhancing properties as well.
There you have it. If all of these health benefits don’t sway you into trying this recipe, what about the money you will save? A bottle of store bought cleaner will run you around $3.96 but this home made bottle will cost you 36 cents! Cha-ching!
I hope you will get hooked like I have, once you try this recipe and see how easy it is to throw these ingredients together. I would love to hear what you think when you do.
Here is how to make the best, natural, glass cleaner.
You will need these ingredients:
- 2 cups hot water
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon liquid castile soap ( I like Dr. Bronner’s )
- 4-6 drops of lemon essential oil
- Mix cornstarch into hot water until it has completely dissolved.
- Add the vinegar, soap, and essential oil drops.
- Shake bottle well before each use.
Step by step:
I like to start this recipe by mixing the cornstarch into the hot water until it has completely dissolved. Then I add the vinegar, soap and lemon essential oil drops. I use a funnel to pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
I love this bottle my Mom gave me because it is glass and the nozzle doesn’t get clogged. You can buy it here.
I find that using a lint-free cloth like this one really works well with this cleaner. If you don’t have one, just use a towel you have on hand.
The only trick with this cleaner is to keep wiping the glass so that you do not have any cornstarch residue. You will see the glass get cleaner and clearer with each stroke. Also, you will need to shake the bottle very well before you begin, as the cornstarch likes to settle to the bottom of the bottle. If your spray nozzle ever gets clogged with starch, just soak it in hot water for a few minutes and scrub with a brush.
I will leave you with a great quote from George Bernard Shaw, “Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world”.